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Urban Analytics and Digital Representation

Imaging software and video, when combined with urban metadata, has the potential to deliver ground-breaking technical innovations for urban design. Created for urban planners, designers, architects, and landscape architects, this interdisciplinary course shows participants how to combine new technologies to make sense of qualitative urban data and apply it in design.

About this course

This course pairs video with repurposed medical imaging software to revolutionise the way we collect urban data. You’ll learn to map large datasets of cities, pedestrians and traffic, capturing directional movement or seasonal flows of light and activity. Place your cameras, download your freeware and go. 

The course curriculum takes a forensic approach to urban mapping using the fine-grain, image-based analysis capabilities of emerging innovative imaging systems. This approach allows ambiguous and often disregarded aspects of city life to form a comprehensive data set. 

Through this analytical platform, you’ll learn to synthesise quantitative and qualitative data, broadening your understanding of assessment tools that can be used for urban analysis. This approach also provides new knowledge for architects seeking to understand urban transition patterns. 

Course outline

Course content spans two levels of learning. The first is the practical process of collecting and collating video and processing it through software. The second is focused on valuing, measuring and assessing three different data types:

(a)  The distributed city

You will find video data sources in the city that enable you to capture and measure change over time in urban space. You will also learn to set up a data framework from which you can extract information about the urban environment.

(b)  The temporal city – 3D volume analysis

You’ll learn to measure data changes over time using 3D image stacking. This process selects multiple images from captured video content and compiles them into volumes of accessible, useable visual data. The timeframes could be 24 hours, a week, seasonal or years. You will also harness PIV (particle image velocimetry) techniques to allow you to understand directional flow over time. This feature is an indispensable inclusion for either the urban planner or architect.

(c)  The material city

Finally, you’ll collate your data into urban colour profile montages to reveal and understand the complex materiality of the environment in which you are designing. This tool will allow you to test the contextual impact of your design proposal.

Course learning objectives 

By producing your own RTV model, you’ll learn how to: 

  • View and navigate design through simulated human locomotion
  • Explore the effects of light and shadow on an architectural design throughout the year 
  • Produce and assign materials to provide visual properties to geometry 
  • Illustrate scale through use of 1:1 proxies of real-world objects 
  • Frame views and space through cinematic techniques 
  • Edit motion video to tell an effective story 
  • Enable users to engage with the design process via interactive elements. 

Key benefits of this microcredential

Successfully completing the course will equip participants with knowledge and expertise in innovative and emerging digital tools. Participants will gain relevant skills in the application of these tools within the design field allowing for their use in various parts of industry-based projects.

This microcredential aligns with the 3-credit point subject, Urban Analytics and Digital Representation (80119) in the Master of Technology. This microcredential may qualify for recognition of prior learning at this and other institutions.

Who is this course for?

This course is aimed at professionals and academics in the fields of architecture, spatial design, urban design or architecture with an interest in exploring new cutting-edge digital techniques in urban data gathering. 

Further course information

Teaching and learning strategies

Face to Face learning through the use of digital tools.

Assessment criteria

Assessment will be Pass/Fail

Minimum requirements

To pass this course, participants must have full attendance and complete all submission requirements as per the assessment criteria stated in the subject outline.


Morning and afternoon tea provided

Fees and Discount

Full price: $2,500 (GST free)

Special price: $1,500 (GST free)

To help you build future-focused skills during COVID-19, this course is currently offered at a reduced rate of $1,500 (Full price $2,500).

Please note that discounts cannot be combined. A limit of one discount applies per person per course session.

Register Your Interest

Additional information

NSW Health advice

UTS is undertaking a number of social distancing initiatives, informed by NSW Health advice, to help reduce social interactions in support of the government’s efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19. As it stands, the date of the microcredential is yet to be impacted by these initiatives and so the course will move forward unaffected. In the instance that the course cannot move forward as planned and will require to be postponed, participants can choose to remain enrolled and attend during the course’s revised date or request a full refund. Should there be any updates to the above, we will contact all participants with the revised information. If you have any questions in the interim, please do not hesitate to email Dr Mohammed Makki:
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